Hands down, one of the most impressive cookbooks this season is A16 Food + Wine. The book is divided into sections on the wines of southern Italy, and a longer section on food served at the restaurant. In the food section it's particularly helpful to read the introduction to learn about chef Nate Appleman's approach to cooking Campanian style in San Francisco. A pantry section details the essential ingredients of the cuisine and then, finally, there are the recipes themselves. You'll find tripe, bruschetta, pickled peppers, roasted sardines as well as pizza and pasta. If you are a fan of this restaurant the book is a must.
For a taste of the food and wine, the Marin Jewish Community Center in conjunction with Book Passages presents chef Nate Appleman and Wine Director Shelly Lindgren. They will discuss their book, and share the source of inspiration for their restaurant A16.
What: A16 Food & Wine Tasting
When: November 13, 2008 7pm @ 7:00
How: $15 members / $20 public / $45 inc. book ($40 retail) Purchase tickets online.
Where: Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Road , San Rafael
Why: Nate will be serving his wildly popular Monday meatballs and sharing other favorite recipes from the book. Shelly Lindgren will be offering wine tastings, advice, and a chance to order many of the featured wines for your holiday table.
Butternut squash is everywhere right now. Here is an easy recipe from the book that is a refreshing change from the sweet roasted version.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Pancetta and Chiles
1 (3 pound) butternut squash
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, diced (about 1 cup)
2 Calabrian chiles, stemmed and chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dried chile flake)
Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Peel the squash halves and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch thick pieces. You should have about 8 cups.
In a large bowl, toss the squash with a few generous pinches of salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Divide the squash between 2 rimmed baking sheets, spreading the pieces evenly over the pans. Roast the squash, rotating the pans front to back about halfway through the cooking for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pot over low heat. Stir in the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until crispy. Stir in the chiles, remove from the heat and set aside.
When the squash is ready, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, add the pancetta mixture, and toss to mix. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted from A16 Food + Wine, copyright ©2008 by D.O.C. Restaurant Group, LLC, courtesy of Tenspeed Press.